Bellefonte and Bald Eagle matmen have strong showing at Big 7
Jan 22, 2023

By Kenny Varner

WINGATE – It was a busy afternoon for the Bellefonte and a Bald Eagle wrestling team as they participated in the Big 7 Wrestling Tournament Saturday at Bald Eagle Area High School.

Others competed in the highly competitive event were Central Mountain, Shikellamy, State College, Altoona, Hollidaysburg, Bellefonte and Bald Eagle.

In the end, the Bellefonte and Bald Eagle teams would finish third and fourth in the event, respectively.

The Red Raiders were able to post 158.5 points while the Eagles finished with 137.

Bellefonte entered four wrestlers into the finals while Bald Eagle sent three.

“It’s a small tournament with eight teams but a lot are of good individuals. Hopefully in a few weeks in the state tournament we have a lot  guys from this league on the medal stand,” said Bellefonte coach Michael Maney. “From where we were two months ago we certainly made some gaines. We need to make some more especially with the post season right around the corner. I’m really happy with some of the improvements and efforts today.”

In the finals, highlighting things was

172-pounder Bald Eagle wrestler Caleb Close picked up the title posting a convincing 7-0 win over Tyler Bauder from Jersey Shore.

Bellefonte’s 107-pounder Wyatt Long finished in second place as he went up against Braiden Weaver from Altoona. Weaver took the contest by fall at 4:57.

The Braves Alex Reed spoiled Bellefonte’s chances at 114. Reed pinned Cameron Garcia by fall at 1:42.

At 121, Shikellamy’s Eben Kisner pinned the Red Raiders Ezra Swisher at 5:03.

Bald Eagle struck again as 127-pounder Coen Bainey posted some clutch points for his team pinning Jackson Long of Bellefonte, 1:21

Bellefonte again placed a wrestler in the title contest at 145 But Central Mountain’s Griffin Walizer would pin Gage Long at 4:57.

Altoona’s Luke Sipes escaped to get the win at 152: Sipes outlasted in an 11-4 Decision over Jeffre Pifer.

Bald Eagle got the third place round going on the right foot.

At 114, Bald Eagles’ Kayson Tice won a hard fought 5-1 decision over the Tigers Carson Krupka, 5-1.

Bellefonte came through in the clutch at 139. Good enough for a third place finish.

Noah Weaver outlasted the Wildcats’ Luke Ananea, 4-3.

It was Bald Eagle versus Bald Eagle at 145 as Mason Reese went up against teammate Alex Surovec Reese would take the contest as he notched a pin at 2:00 over Surovec.

Bellefonte’s 160-pounder Max Murray topped the fall Mitchell Baronner (Hollidaysburg), 0:54.

Central Mountain, who finished in the top spot) picked up a 13-4 decision when Jacob Weaver topped Bellefonte’s Grady Garrison at 172.

The 189-pound weight class was won by Jersey Shore’s Slate Sechrist as he finished with a takedown and an escape over Bellefonte’s Addison Shawley, 3-1.

Bald Eagle Area took the 215-pound weight class. Gage Gardner held off Giovanni Tarantella of Central Mountain, winning 7-5.

Both local teams were well represented in the fifth place matches as well.

Bald Eagle’s 121-pounder Gavin Guenot escaped as a 3-2 winner over the Little Lions Jonathan Coates.

Bald Eagle notched another win at 133. Connor Maney blanked Hollidaysburg’s Mason Schenck,6-0.

At 152, CM’s Hunter Donley pinned Gavin Bennett of Bald Eagle at 2:03.

Jersey Shore’s 160 pound wrestler Kaden Walker blanked Bald Eagles’ Cameron Dubbs, 2-0.

At 189, Altoona’s Evan Boose pinned Shawn Knepp from Bald Eagle Area, at 2:19.

Bellefonte’s 215 pounder Nash Irwin shined in his 8-2 decision over Rally Hoover of Hollidaysburg, 8-2.

Rounding out the 5th place winners was 285-pounder Preston Spontarelli of Shikellamy defeated BEA’s Eric Clark by a pin at, 4:27.

The local teams also were represented in the race for seventh place.

The Seventh place competition led off at 107. The Eagles’ Liam Purcell muscled out a close 2-1 over Shikellamy’s Max Hallman.

It was Bald Eagle that would place seventh at 139. Hunter Ishler took care of Hollidaysburg Jacob Brua, 7-2.

Rounding out the seventh place winners at 152 was Jack Mchail from Bellefonte with a pin over State College’s Wyatt Angeli at 1:30.

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